You hunger to grow your own veggies. You want to slip out the back door whenever you hear the tummy rumble and harvest from your own personal crop of yummies. We get it. We know the feeling. By all means, when possible, devote some of your garden beds to supplying all things that will tantalize your tastebuds. But, if you don’t have access to garden space or if you just want some food that’s more accessible to the kitchen, we recommend you take matters into your own (gloved) hands and plant up some containers that will quell your tastebuds’ demands.
Thinking in the Box
That’s right, you can grow the ingredients for a few salads and furnish garnishes to jazz up your menu in pots. Of course, not all veggies are apropos, but when you focus on food that’s specifically designed to be grown in a pot, your back porch can successfully become a potager. Many seed sources have selectively bred veggies with the specs needed to be kept contained. Renee’s Garden Seeds, for example, developed a line of container veggies and herbs so broad, you can pretty much plan a menu around it. We’re talking everything from ‘Astia’ container squash to ‘Little Prince’ eggplants. Baba ganoush is going to be within footsteps.
The Underground Story
To make this work, you’ll need a deep growing container with plenty of space for roots to plunge down. By all means, enlist any old standard terra cotta pot for the purpose. But make sure it has depth. Rather than shallow pots, go for the deeper versions. Sap buckets also work beautifully—furnishing the necessary room for hungry root systems to expand. To be sure, use a container that is safe for growing food. Also critical is the nutrition below ground, you need to give your veggies the oomph necessary to pump out the produce and keep on furnishing the goods. Coast of Maine’s Stonington Blend Organic Grower’s Mix will give your veggies the nutrition they need while also providing the drainage and consistency necessary for container gardening.
Growing Without Pains
Are you a foodie? You can grow all sorts of designer nibbles in pots. If your yen leans toward boutique tomatoes, ‘Tasmanian Chocolate’ is custom made for container growing. And if you want some bush beans to boil up and add a little crunch to your noodles, plant up a pot of ‘French Mascotte’ beans to keep close by. Any Swiss chard can be grown in a container, if given sufficient root room, but ‘Special Baby Leaf’ chard is succinctly sized specifically for the job. Of course, herbs are always apropos – and ‘Spicy Globe’ basil forms an adorable little mound of spiciness that is custom crafted for the contained life. Of course, parsley is traditionally perfect for pots—and more than just a garnish for your recipes.
Greens on the Go
Even if you tend an ambitious veg garden down yonder on your property, planting up some pots to be kept close by is a great idea. After all, at the end of the day when your stomach is rumbling who wants to make that mad dash for food? Salad ingredients such as lettuce (‘Garden Babies’ is specifically crafted for containers, but most lettuces fill the bill), any spinach, and Asian greens (try ‘Rosette Tatsoi’ for a cool season crop) can easily be kept on hand. Remember to water your container crop regularly for optimal performance. And keep the goodies harvested for maximum production. Next time you go out onto your deck, you are going to start drooling.
Written by award winning author, Tovah Martin. Photos also taken by Tovah Martin. Find her books and more information on her website: tovahmartin.com.